What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Fatal?

What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Fatal?

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What Percentage of Car Accidents Are Fatal?

Most people know that car accidents are one of the leading causes of injuries across the United States. Even when you can account for your own safe driving and doing regular maintenance on your vehicle, you cannot account for other people's behavior and could end up injured as a result of their negligence. Injuries, however, are just one example of outcomes of vehicle accidents. It can be devastating to learn that you have recently lost a loved one because of someone else's preventable and negligent behavior in a vehicle accident. 

This leads many people to wonder about the percentage of car accidents that are fatal. The percentage of car accidents that are fatal is a statistic that is reported on on a regular basis. These numbers are calculated at the state level to illustrate the percentage of car accidents that are fatal, and legislators and other safety experts use this information to propose new policies or responses to the rising numbers of accidents. 

2019 Data on Fatal Crashes

The most recent year for which data has been calculated on a state by state basis for the percentage of accidents that are fatal is 2019. In that year there were 33,244 fatal motor vehicle accidents that led to over 36,000 fatalities. That fatality rate per 100,000 individuals ranged to 25.4 per 100,000 people in Wyoming to 3.3 in the District of Columbia. When looked at on a miles travelled basis, the death rate per 100 million miles travelled ranged from 1.73 in South Carolina to 0.51 in Massachusetts. 

Fatal accidents can be caused by many types of reckless behavior, such as distracted driving, drunk driving, drowsy driving, or aggressive driving. It can be hard to tell the story of how the accident happened if you were not there. That is true for many family members who were more worried about getting their loved one medical treatment or caring for their immediate end of life needs, but knowing that you have a wrongful death lawyer to help you can make a big difference in these early steps for your lawsuit. 

Road Usage Type

Another way to look at the percentage of accidents that are fatal is to consider the types of vehicles involved. For example, Vermont was home to the highest percentage of deaths involving car passengers at 45% but had a very low percentage of deaths involving pickups and SUVs at 21%. On the other side of the spectrum, Alaska had the highest percentage of deaths involving pickup and SUV occupants at 48% but had a low percentage of deaths involving car occupants. 

Three states tied for the highest percentage of crash fatalities involving bicyclists. Those states were New York, Florida, and Delaware. Accidents can and do happen anywhere, but it is important to be aware of the possibility of being hurt in a vehicle accident. Having appropriate car insurance on your vehicle and carrying health insurance so that you can get accident treatment immediately can help you in these situations, but it can often be very difficult to adjust to life after someone has caused you to suffer in a devastating vehicle accident. 

When it comes to crash types, over 53% of motor vehicle fatalities in 2019 involved solo vehicles. This is especially interesting because most people think of car accidents as involving two or more vehicles, but single vehicle crashes are a leading cause of fatalities. The state of Maine had the highest percentage of fatalities in single vehicle accidents at 68%. Single vehicle accidents can include someone running into stationary objects like guardrails on the side of the road.


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Get answers to commonly asked questions about our legal services and learn how we may assist you with your case.

Car Accident FAQs

  • What About Alcohol?

    One important element of many personal injury cases is whether or not someone else was negligent or reckless behind the wheel. Some scenarios are easier to illustrate than others. For example, you might suspect that the other person involved in the accident was under the influence of alcohol. This can usually be determined by proper testing at the accident scene. Some states report blood alcohol concentration for a very small percentage of passenger drivers in vehicles. A multiple amputation model developed by the US Department of Transportation is used when blood alcohol content is missing for a driver. The only way to get precise details about BAC is for those states that report a high percentage of crashes where BAC details are also reported. Blood alcohol content can greatly increase the chances of someone suffering severe or fatal injuries in a vehicle accident. The same goes for other situations, such as someone who was driving while distracted or someone who falls asleep at the wheel. All of these can illustrate the impact of unsafe driving.

  • What About Recovering Compensation in Damages?

    As someone who is a family member of a loved one who was killed in an accident, there are more questions than answers immediately after this person is hurt. Not only do you have to cope with the grief of losing your loved one, but there are also financial expenses associated with their final costs or medical treatment, if applicable, as well as long term financial problems with your family, too. All of these should be discussed with a personal injury lawyer who has a strong background in handling wrongful death cases. States allow wrongful death cases to be filed to help family members to recover compensation and move on with their lives after a devastating incident. 

    With the high percentage of car accidents that are fatal, this might be the only way for family members to recover compensation, so that they can move on with their life and not suffer devastating consequences for the rest of time. The support of a lawyer can help you to identify whether or not you have grounds to pursue a wrongful death suit. 

    Only certain family members are eligible to pursue wrongful death claims, but the sooner that you consult with a lawyer the easier it will be for you to understand these impacts. If you are unclear about whether or not you have the right to file a personal injury lawsuit or a wrongful death lawsuit, you can speak with an attorney sooner rather than later. Your lawyer will assist you with every aspect of your wrongful death claim and can help you and other beneficiaries whose lives have been forever changed by this loss to go forward. If you can show that the other party was negligent or unsafe on the road, a lawyer can help you to present this information in a compelling manner in your legal case. This might be the only opportunity for your family members to get the support that you need to pay bills and expenses and adapt to the loss of your loved one. While no amount of money will ever fully compensate you or your family members for this loss, you can take an important step towards preserving your financial future by speaking with a wrongful death attorney.

  • Do We Have Rights After an Accident?

    Most states recognize that family members are dealing with a very stressful situation after their loved one is killed in a personal injury accident. To get the specific information about whether or not you’re able to file a suit, you want to talk directly with your personal injury attorney. 

    Each state has their own rules about who can file a suit, how long you have to file a suit after the death of a family member, and what you’re eligible for. The other parties, such as the person who caused the accident or the insurance company representing them, might try to make you think you have limited options or that you won’t be able to recover full compensation. That is not necessarily true, and this is why you should have your own lawyer to support you in your claim. 

    Lawsuits for wrongful death can take a long time to work their way through the legal system, but you want to know that your wrongful death lawyer is handling all the key aspects of the case. In these situations, having a lawyer to put the pieces together and tell the story of the suit is vital. You and your family have enough to worry about after losing someone you care about, but you don’t also want the stress to add to that with your legal case. 

    If a car accident turned fatal and your family member paid the price, it might fall to you to file a legal claim to help put your family back on the right track to recover compensation. A lawyer can really help you make sense of all the details to track after you decide to file a wrongful death claim due to a fatal car accident. To take your first steps before filing, you can contact the experts at Morgan & Morgan to receive a free, no-obligation case evaluation for more information to get you started. Call today and learn more about your options.

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